A New Jersey high school’s wrestling team is currently under investigation by the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJIAA) after a photo surfaced showing Phillipsburgh High wrestlers gathered around a practice dummy they hung from the ceiling. Allegedly, the dummy was hung in effigy of a black wrestler from Phillipsburg’s rival school, Paulsboro High School.
The dummy in the photo is wearing a Paulsboro High School jersey, which also has a large black student population and wrestlers.
Paulsboro Interim Superintendent Walter Quint says he has decided to use this as a teachable moment.
Dr. Quint says, “This is an example where we can show our students what a big mistake you can make by posting things online that you haven’t thought about.”
The photos racial overtones – whether intended or not – has state authorities looking into the matter.
The NJIAA released a statement in regards to the incident:
“We have asked Phillipsburg administrators to provide a report of the incident to NJSIAA by no later than noon on Thursday. The report will help NJSIAA determine what further actions, if any, will be taken.”
The NJSIAA has also reported the incident to the state attorney general’s office and the division of civil rights.
The Phillipsburg School district’s superintendent George Chando, stated:
“The incident reported is a student matter dealing with minors. An investigation was undertaken, and upon conclusion of the investigation actions were taken by the District consistent with its policies.”
What most people are quick to point out is that wrestling practice dummies only come in dark colors, so it’s quite possible that the team didn’t mean any “harm or foul” about it. Regardless of that fact, I’m not willing to give the Junior KKK a pass.